A Peak District climbers’ and walkers’ haunt has lost one of its most notorious characters.
Grindleford Station Cafe owner Philip Eastwood collapsed and died of a heart attack while dancing at a party. Among the eccentric Mr Eastwood’s pet hates were mushrooms and social workers.
The Derbyshire cafe is famed for its pint pots of tea and full English breakfasts – minus mushrooms – which set up many a rambler and cragrat, even on Christmas Day. The cafe is peppered with prohibitive notices, ranging from using mobile phones, using the loos without buying food, dumping empty plates on the counter and, being a social worker.
Despite all that, and the fact that he tried to form his own very suspect British Rural Independent Party, climbers were regulars at the cafe. He had a deep suspicion of many sections of the populace, including vegetarians, who caused him consternation with their picky attitude. Many visitors found his oddball views unpalatable and, frankly racist, but the cafe has a devoted following.
One posting on the café review website eggbaconchipsandbeans perhaps sums up the atmosphere best: “Unwelcoming atmosphere with the rudest staff in the history of customer service politely describes the cafe at Grindleford Station!
“Sarcastic scruffy handwritten signs insulting most of the population of planet Earth adorn most walls. Maybe they'd like pre-programmed robots as customers who wouldn't even breathe their air space! As a warning to anyone with a nut allergy, the cafe takes great pride in stating that they don't care if there are nuts in their foods as the staff are nutty as well! Get your adrenaline needles at the ready! Not impressed at all. Packed lunch and flask next time for me!”
Patrons of a certain establishment on the Cleveland escarpment in the North York Moors may discern a remarkable similarity with their host.
Mr Eastwood, who was 63, was a former nightclub bouncer, debt collector and hot-dog seller, and had run the former station waiting room eaterie for 30 years. He leaves a son, 19, also named Philip.